Rodent for Rent

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Anyone know whose rat this was, that was in front of the US Airways’ headquarters Thursday?

While one usually sees the rat in such places as New York or Chicago, and the IAM is usually the one blowing him up, Thursday a large rodent was placed in front of the US Airways’ headquarters. You know, it was Media Day. As a result, union employees took advantage of the fact by picketing outside the airline’s headquarters.

But I’m not sure this was an IAM rat. He looked too new to me. The last IAM rat I saw in front of Grand Central Station a couple of years ago was really pretty disgusting. He’d seen some heavy use. Someone told me Thursday that ALPA now has a rat. Told me it cost the union $4000. Was this the new $4000 ALPA rat?

Maybe there is a rental market opportunity here. You know, Rent-A-Rodent.

My thanks to CrankyFlier, who had the opportunity to snap this photograph Thursday morning. While he was doing something constructive, yours truly was still trying to find a parking space, as the employee garage was blocked, and the spaces next to the headquarters had been roped off.

No worries. I got there. More to come. But one thing I will say is this.

There was a Reuters story that ran yesterday afternoon that was headlined, “US Airways CEO sees airline industry heading down.” This story was filed almost simultaneously with the conclusion of the executive Q&A session of the Media Day program.

Both CrankyFlier and I were in that same room, and both of us were in disbelief when we read this story. US Airways CEO Doug Parker did not say that the airline industry was “headed down.” He did say the industry was “a mess.” But this was in the context of talking about consolidation, the economy, and a number of other related topics. In fact, US Airways President Scott Kirby said yesterday that while it is expected that passenger demand will begin to fall — given what is going on in the economy — the airline still has not seen evidence of such a weakening as of yet.

In summary, a very misleading story posted by Reuters yesterday afternoon.